I have carefully read this paperbook book of nearly 300 pages, written in Spanish. The name of the author on the front cover is David Rocasolano. He is a lawyer by profession, and if he is in truth the author of this book then I suggest he changes his profession immediately to that of professional writer. Once begun, it is impossible to put the book down, as horror after horror is exposed in readable prose, composed without mercy either for its subjects or the reader.
The whole book is dedicated to a well-planned and even better timed attack on the following: Don Juan Carlos I, King of Spain; the wife of his son Felipe, Prince of Asturias, the ‘princess’ of the title – Letizia (actually a cousin of the author); the system of protocol in Spain; the Press in Spain; most of the television and radio news programmes in Spain; one of the sisters of the King and every courtier in sight. The Prince of Asturias escapes censure. He is one of the goodfellows. The blind sister of the King also escapes, because she is a Dear Lady and not in the least snobbish. The Queen of Spain also escapes without blemish.
I do not believe for one second that David Rocasolano is the actual author of this gripping and absorbing book. No provincial lawyer without any published literature to his name can write like this. The dialogue (though there is little) is worthy of Hemingway. The planning, the use of cynicism and sarcasm, the imagery, the detail, the literary hammer blows – this is not the work of an unpractised author. Someone has been there at David’s elbow, insinuating this, suggesting that, changing this, altering that – here is a literary master at work. Sorry David, your whole family has suffered tragedy after tragedy, and you have ended by separating yourself from them, which seems the ultimate low blow. But if you really did write this book, I congratulate you, though I may not agree with the book’s general trend. As a piece of literature, the book will enter the most illustrious sections of Spanish literature. I pray that a really decent translation into English will shortly become available.
In Dumas’s series of books about D’Artagnan, someone warns the hero about Richelieu and Milady: “Do not go into unlit streets, be wary of strangers, watch your back in taverns, your very life is in danger.” Do take this as good advice, David.
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